It looks like it is confirmed that getting married really isn't good for your weight!
Researchers say that married couples have higher body mass index (BMI) than those who are single.
They also say that married couples on average eat better than singles, but that they weigh significantly more and do less sport.
According to the World Health Organization, a normal body mass index is between 18.5 and 25.
Overweight is defined as an index between 25 and 30, and obesity as above 30.
The average body mass index of the single men in the study was 25.7; that of the married men was 26.3.
For women, the average index was 25.1 for singles and 25.6 for married women.
In an average-height woman of 165 cm or an average-height man of 180 cm, they represent a difference of about 2 kg.
Researchers at the University of Basel and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development worked with GfK to compare the body mass index of married couples with that of singles in nine European countries.
They found married couples on average eat better than singles, but that they also weigh significantly more and do less sport.
The results of their study have now been published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
Numerous studies have shown that marriage is good for your health.
The researchers compared the relationship between marital status and body mass index, which relates body weight to height.
A high body mass index can be a risk factor for chronic illnesses such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
The researchers drew on representative cross-sectional data from 10,226 respondents in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Their study is the first to compare the relationship between marital status and body mass index in nine European countries.
Beyond their focus on married couples, the researchers conducted additional analyses with cohabiting couples.
They also examined possible reasons for weight gain by asking respondents about their eating and exercise behaviors.
Findings from all nine countries showed that couples have a higher body mass index than singles - whether men or women.
The differences between countries were surprisingly small.
Survey findings on respondents' eating and exercise behaviours offered possible reasons for this trend.
For example, couples reported buying more regional and unprocessed products and less convenience food.
Moreover, married men were more likely than single men to buy organic and fair trade food.
'That indicates that particularly men in long-term relationships are more likely to eat more consciously and, in turn, probably more healthily,' says Jutta Mata, lead author of the study and Assistant Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Basel.
But it does not mean that they are generally healthier:
The study also shows that married men do less sport than singles.
Source: Daily Mail